On October 8th at 2:17 PM MDT, my trusty Time Indiglo watch finally went kaput.
After 15 years, multiple band changes, and one battery change, the water resistance finally failed during a recent packrafting trip.
I replaced it with a similar but different model, slightly larger, has different styling, and is (slightly!) more stylish. I hope to have this watch for about 15 years as well.
Why carry an analog watch in 2022?
Of course, using an analog watch may seem a bit old school, primarily if you worked in technology, as I have been on and off for most of my adult life.
So why do I still use an analog watch?
A few different reasons –
- My insurance company gave me a FitBit after my yearly physical as an incentive. I tried it but didn’t like it.
Sure, I received a heart rate update, and it pleased me that over two years of regular fitness kept it on the lower side. And interesting to see the estimated calorie burn. But, go figure, all it told me was that the longer or more intense I worked out, the more calories I burned.
Like many people in corporate environments, I feel the core customer of FitBits tend to like their metrics and measurements. I’ll go by a quickly beating heart, sweat factor, and the pleasant muscle soreness to let me know I worked out well, had a brisk bike ride, or had a vigorous weekend of outdoor activity. And the accuracy of fitness trackers is suspect, anyway.
And it’s a pain to tell time with it vs. a simple and quick check with my analog watch.
- I have a smartphone, but I’m not sure I want a smartwatch.
More to charge, harder to protect for outdoor use, more money, another device, a clunky UI, and the idea of getting a constant stream of notifications do not appeal to me.
- I like the aesthetics of an analog watch.
A bit anachronistic, perhaps, but I prefer the look of analog to digital when it comes to everyday use.
- During my wilderness first aid/responder training, an analog watch makes it easier to take vital signs.
Luckily that I haven’t had to use the skills in the field, I think it’s telling that an RN and an MD both had analog watches for this class vs. the majority of other students.
- For dead reckoning, easier for me to glance at a watch vs. pulling out my phone.
More useful in areas with defined trails, but still a tool in the navigation kit I’ll pull out fairly often.
Perhaps in the future, I’ll get something different. For now, I prefer the utility, practical nature, price, and aesthetics of an analog watch with a proven track record. Ask me again in fifteen years.
Agreed. I really like having an analog watch also. I have a different brand – didn’t have the same good luck as you with the Timex Expedition – but definitely love analog 🙂
Dead reckoning with an analog watch! That’s old-school.
Most probably don’t know how to do that.
Point the hour hand at the sun. Half way in-between hour hand and 12 will be pointed South.
Useful for sure. But I meant more in terms of time and distance traveled. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_reckoning
I’ve been told younger people never learn how to tell time, analog style. At least not in school. Is this true? I know for a fact a significant number don’t know how to use a pay phone or a rotary dial home phone.
I use an analog watch on trail. But not on my wrist. The half dollar size “clock” is in my pocket sans the wrist band, easy to pull out to look at. Better than logging into my phone! But GaiaGPS on my phone–won’t leave home without it!
re: Telling analog time
Not sure TBH.
As for not using a rotary phone, I don’t know how to drive using a double clutch as even standard transmission has had synchronous transmission since the 1920s. 🙂 (Commercial vehicles are another ball o’ wax) (And though I can drive stick, that may be another phased out skill in the years ahead, too)
Totally agree about Gaia. I like to use many tools in my kit. Sometimes a phone works better than a paper map, sometimes, a quick compass bearing does the trick quicker and easier.
In addition to keeping track visually of where I am on trail (relative distance from start point to end point or campsite), I find Gaia helpful if I venture off trail. One touch and I create a waypoint where I am, and can easily see how to get back to the trail. It’s helpful to have that visual, most recently in 2020 during thick fog in Grayson Highlands! Better than a compass, for me. Also great that Gaia is GPS based — no cell signal necessary. (And . . . I haven’t needed to drive a stick since I was… Read more »
Oddly enough, I drive a stick shift on our 2005 Honda Civic hybrid. The only year Honda made a civic hybrid with a standard transmission, apparently. Gets over 45+ MPG and makes a great “pavement car.” Still going strong 204k miles later. We save our Tacoma for weekends (and bike a lot in town currently) But, I suspect we are in the waning days of needing to know that skill set.
I think your dates are a little off on synchromesh, my 48 Ford truck does not have synchromesh.
My son actually got a job because he was the only candidate that could drive a stick so yeah, thats going away.
I grew up and was taught paper maps and compass but I embrace (love) the new phone app maps, however I could still find my way if my batteries all died.
I think I was only partially correct, introduced in the 1920s. Looks like trucks then, as now, slower to adapt. And trucks fall into the “work vehicle” category more so then, I suspect.
I don’t see technology vs. Traditional tools as and/or FWIW. Often I’ll combine the two. Get an accurate position via GPS, but find it easier to use my compass to take bearings for the next step. And I prefer a larger print map for overviews, but love my phone for taking different map layers.
You didn’t mention my most used feature of an indiglo watch, checking what time it is in the middle of the night in the bag or quilt.
Well, it is your most used feature. 😉 Being serious, good point!
I agree with your sentiments. However, I own and use a digital Casio watch. I prefer glancing at numbers instead of dials. Also the stopwatch is handy when I’m rehydrating dinner on the trail.
I have a 15 year old Casio PAW 1300. Best thing besides compas and altimeter is it’s solar! Never changed a battery since purchased. I can roll my wrist 90 degrees at night and it lights for 2 seconds, perfect for time watchers.